Ride-hail company regulations advance in Missouri House

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ The Missouri House is advancing regulations for ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft.

House members voted 113-38 Monday to give initial approval to a bill requiring those companies to conduct background checks on drivers.

The bill also would require companies to ensure vehicles are insured and provide customers with fare estimates. Companies would need to pay an annual permit fee of $5,000.

The measure would ban cities and other municipalities from setting additional licensing requirements for ride-hailing companies.

Uber and Lyft say such statewide regulations would help expand services in Missouri. Backers in the House said it would create jobs.

Primarily Democratic opponents in the House disputed that and argued it might take jobs away from taxicab drivers. Others said regulations should be done city-by-city.